The village is composed of people trying to run from their pain and build a better society, a better life. Just as John mentioned in today's sermon, there are always two problems with that: you and me. Life is like that. I can run from risk because of pain, but there's nowhere to go in this fallen world from it. The only casualty of my running is life. I can limit my relationships to those who think like me, but every one of us will fail each other eventually. I can build up walls around myself because of the ways others hurt me, but even if I could ever be alone, is there honestly anyone who has hurt me more than I have hurt myself?
So the village fails. Pain and hurt and death breach the borders; the fallenness of the world and men have always been inside. Yet they elect to hold onto the smaller story they have built together to escape their pain, knowing full well, on some level, that it has failed in that purpose. It is still more comfortable to hold onto our own ways of dealing with life, even when we know they aren't working any better than what we're trying to escape.
My hope lies somewhere else entirely, outside myself. He does not call me escape the pain but gives me His strength, comfort, courage, and presence to press through. And my hope does not disappoint.
It's been a good day. There are promises to live into. There are still matters about which I don't have peace. I've done all I can do. I need to keep reminding myself this is true, especially when it hurts or doesn't make sense.
I have called Thee, “Abba, Father”; I have set my heart on Thee:
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather, all must work for good to me.
—"Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken" (Henry F. Lyte, 1824)